The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Society of Indian Automobile Manufactures (SIAM) to get individual auto companies to submit data on unsold inventory of vehicles compliant with Bharat Stage-III (BS-III) emission norms.
The directive came after the apex court-appointed Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) sought direct implementation of its earlier notification of stopping sale of such vehicles beyond March 31.
Senior Advocate Harish Salve, acting as the amicus curiae in the case, said the notification was clear over ban on sale of BS-III vehicles and enough notice has been given to automakers.
Opposing the contention, SIAM said that the notification allows them to manufacture vehicles till March 31, and the ban should therefore not be made effective from April 1.
Automotive companies typically keep an inventory of vehicles at their manufacturing facilities and with their dealers. This, as a standard practice, ranges between 3-5 weeks based on demand for the vehicle. A ban on sale of BS-III compliant vehicles from April 1 would mean that auto companies are stranded with unsold inventory.
While a 2015 notification from the road transport and highways ministry spoke about mandatory manufacturing of BS-IV vehicles from April 2017, it made no mention of whether the sale of BS-III inventory would be allowed. In October last year, EPCA directed vehicle manufacturers that no non-BS-IV vehicle will be registered after April 1.
Under Section 5 of the Environment Protection Act, the EPCA has the power to issue orders on violation of various environmental standards.
The next hearing for the case is scheduled for Friday, March 24.